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Israel-Jordan Relations: Water Cooperation

(Updated December 2013)

With signing the Israel-Jordan peace treaty in October 1994, both countries agreed to work toward achieving  a comprehensive and lasting settlement of all the water problems between them. Israel agreed to provide Jordan with approximately 75 million cubic meters of water per year while Jordan agreed to recognize Israel's rightful allocation to water in the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers.

Israel and Jordan also agreed that in order to meet both countries future water needs, they would have to initiate projects of regional and international cooperation to ensure the best management and development of limited resources. The peace treaty also stipulated that Israel and Jordan would work bilaterally to prevent contamination of shared water resources and give mutual assistance in the alleviation of water shortages.

In June 1999, Israel, Jordan and the United States signed an agreement launching a joint Israeli-Jordanian project to protect the Eilat-Aqaba Gulf, a project that was originally agreed upon in the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. According to the agreement, joint teams of scientists from Israel and Jordan will work together to protect and research the coral reef reserves in the gulf. The parties will exchange information and scientific data, and will conduct educational activities among residents of Eilat and Aqaba.

In December 2013, Israel and Jordan overcame political obstacles to sign an agreement green-lighting the construction of a Red Sea-Dead Sea water pipeline. The Red Sea–Dead Sea Conduit, also known as the Two Seas Canal, will carry water north from the Red Sea, hopefully slowing down the Dead Sea's desiccation. As part of the cooperation, a joint water purification plant will be constructed and Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians will share the water.

According to the agreement, some 200 million metric cubes of water will be pumped annually out of th Red Sea - 80 million cubes will be desalinated at a special facility in Aqaba, Jordan; 30-50 million cubes will be allocated to Israel for use in the Arava and Eilat; 30 million cubes will go to Jordan for their southern region; and, up to 30 million cubes will be sold to the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, who represented Israel at the signing ceremony in Washington, called the arrangement "a historic agreement," adding it was a "dream come true."

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry